Yakety Yak


“It’s good to shut up sometimes.”

I didn’t say that, Smiley did.

Except he didn’t. It was some guy called Marshal Marco or something like that, who I’ve never heard of. Smiley says this Marco bloke is supposed to have made a living out of not talking, but at some time he must have said something to someone else, who wrote it down. Then it was read by thousands of people, probably changed loads of times along the way and eventually Smiley says it as if it’s some original piece of wit.

My point is, what’s the point? He said this to him… she said that to her… they said that to them… and on and on, blah, blah, blah, talking and talking and talking. And when people aren’t talking face-to-face they’re phoning each other up or texting or emailing. What on earth can they have to say to each other that’s so important? And when they run out of things to say they start making stuff up about other people talking to each other and put it on the TV and the radio and in books. It’s exhausting. But do they ever really say anything worth hearing?

I wouldn’t really know because I never listen to what they’re saying. Oh, I’ve had lots of tests and I can hear perfectly well but I only take in the useful stuff, so other people’s conversations usually come out as: Blah, blah, blah… lunchblah, blah, blah… teatimeblah, blah, blah… custardblah, blah, blah… bath time…” that kind of thing.

As for communication from my direction, I’m not much of a talker. Never really got the hang of it – I’m more an ‘actions speak louder than words’ kind of guy; I find I can get my message across perfectly well without doing any talking at all.

If I’m hungry I make very load moaning noises and stamp around in the hall and rattle the kitchen gate or kick the door until someone feeds me; works pretty well – I never go hungry for long. If I like someone a lot (or sometimes when I like them only a little) I’ll let them know by attempting a full-on wet and sloppy kiss, or at the very least a headlock-style hug and they soon understand my feelings towards them. And if I’m thirsty I get down on the ground and drink out of a puddle… none of this triple-latte-machi-whatsit-nonsense for me.

I don’t try to make jokes or impress people with how clever I am. I don’t embarrass myself by saying something stupid. I don’t insult people, accidentally or deliberately. If I want someone’s attention I pull their head round and they give me their attention pretty quickly. If I want them to open a door for me I put their hand on the doorknob. And when I’m happy (which is about 85% of the time) I smile. It’s simple… so what’s the point of cluttering up the air with endless chitchat?

Ok, I will admit that there are a few occasions when the ability to talk would be useful, such as when some dimwit leaves a sock stuffed in the end of a shoe they’re trying to force onto my foot, or when I’m trying to tell people I’ve just trapped my fingers under a door… but on the whole I think it’s just too much effort to bother.

This seems to disappoint Smiley in particular: he often puts his mouth very close to mine and goes “Mu-mu-mu-mu-mu-mummy!” It makes him look and sound like an idiot but he seems to like it. Sometimes he tries a “Da-da-da-da-da- (yes… you guessed it) –daddy!” variation, but I don’t know why he bothers because there’s no way I’m going to publicly admit that these two are my parents. It must bother him though because I’ve heard him telling people he’s had dreams where I talk. Sweet.

So I like to indulge him with all his writing malarkey. He thinks he has this special ability to know exactly what I’m thinking but it doesn’t exactly take a mind reader… nearly everyone I meet seems to know what I’m thinking. Ah well, if it makes him happy to write it all down who am I to get in the way of his simple pleasures? Goodness knows he has few enough of those.

As for me, I think the Marco guy at the top of the page had it about right: if you don’t have anything worth saying, don’t say anything. Which means I haven’t said anything at all in nearly fifteen years.

At least not with words.


Access denied

No EntryFlower Girl had lots of her squealy friends round last night so that they could all get ready together for a party. She locked herself in her room and I was desperate to get in there with them… sounded like brilliant fun.

I tried slapping and banging on the door for a bit but they just ignored me, so I spent nearly an hour sitting outside her room with my face pressed up against the door and my fingers pushed under the bottom edge, but no luck. Eventually fell asleep in that position.

Does this make me sound too needy?


(Not) Swimming with Dolphins


What is it about dolphins?

A very good friend of mine (well, I say a ‘very good friend’ but then I value friendships in the same way you might value your refrigerator) has been awarded a trip for the whole family to swim with the dolphins in Florida.

Why do people go all funny whenever dolphins are mentioned? They’re quite dopey looking and they’re not exactly fluffy and cuddly. I don’t even know if they taste good because I’ve never eaten one (as far as I know).

I can’t see what all the fuss is about; I wouldn’t get any more excited about splashing about with Flipper and his pals than I would mixing with any other group of mammals, but I don’t suppose they’d sell as many trips to ‘Mingle with a Herd of Cows’.

Anyway Frowny and Flower Girl really like the idea and are quite envious about it.

Smiley said that they ought to consider the realities of taking me on a flight to Florida for 9 hours. And then add in the 3 hours or so that they’d have to keep me entertained in the airport beforehand, the taxi rides, the hotel accommodation, the sleeping arrangements, the restaurants…

Eventually he said it would be far easier to bring the dolphins here.

And for once I think he was serious.


Social Graces


I have never once said thank you.

I never say please. Or excuse me, or pardon, or sorry.

I’ve never said hello, goodbye, I love you or I’ll miss you. I have never remembered anyone’s birthday or sent a Christmas card.

I fart, belch, pick my nose, chew my toes, put my hand down my trousers, urinate, and empty my bowels whenever and wherever I want.

I never queue. In fact, if I’m in a hurry and someone’s in my way I’ll just push past them. I ‘don’t do’ waiting. I’m impatient. When I’m hungry – whether it’s a meal time or not – I complain loudly until the food arrives. And when I’m done with the dish, spoon or drink I just throw them on the floor. I steal food from other people’s plates by the handful whenever I’m within arm’s reach.

You think that’s bad? I also have a history of petty shoplifting, helping myself to the contents of women’s handbags, breaking people’s spectacles, twanging women’s underwear and dunking small children’s heads in the swimming pool.

I truly am “B-b-bad to the b-b-bone”.

Alright, I will admit that I’m also capable of being nice; I’ll smile enchantingly at people I’ve never met, greet those I like with more enthusiasm than a big, bouncy dog; laugh and scream with delight when people talk to me. But I’ll do it on my terms and only when I’m in the mood.

It’s safe to say that I lack social graces. I don’t have any time in my life for good manners or politeness. I should point out that none of the above is done with any intention of malice – I simply don’t care to observe society’s rules.

But why would I? I see people everywhere I go saying “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me” and “I’m sorry… no, I’m sorry, no, really… it was completely my fault”. But where does it get them? People torture themselves with guilt over a missed Mother’s Day phone call or forgetting an anniversary or stepping on someone else’s toe.

But what would happen to you if one day you suddenly decided to give up on all the pretence? Haven’t you ever – just once – wished you didn’t have to conform with social niceties? Would you be universally despised and hated by everyone you know? Would an angry lynch mob follow you through the streets, hurling abuse and rotten fruit?

Er, no.

In my experience I’m loved and adored wherever I go. People bring me food whenever it’s demanded and cater to my every whim. They bathe me, dress me, change me and keep me warm. If I can’t be bothered to walk they carry me or push me in a buggy. If I can’t be bothered to stand they hold me up. And although I never acknowledge birthdays and other celebrations I often find that cards and presents have been dispatched on my behalf.

I am not sworn or shouted at when I push my way to the front of a queue – in fact people often seem amused and gladly give up their places for me.

Why should this be? I’m handsome, undoubtedly, but I can’t really believe that people are so awed at my looks to forgive all my rudeness. Is it my undeniable charisma and charm? Possibly, but half the time I might ignore people (even those I know well) in favour of a squeaky toy. Does this offend them?

Not at all. It’s very odd.

So if you’re fed up with conformity why not give rudeness a go? I can’t recommend it highly enough. Trust me, life’s too short to spend it saying please, thank you and sorry.

But it begs the question: what exactly do I have to do to offend someone?



Baby Dribble-447083

Dribble is a big, wet part of my personality.

Most people seem to regard dribble as a problem. A fault. An eyesore. A distraction. An unpleasantness. An embarrassment. A vulgarity. Social suicide. Something repulsive that immediately needs wiping away.

Oh, please… just get over yourselves.

I regard it as a pleasant fact of life. It doesn’t bother me at all, in fact I rather like it – it makes the process of chewing unpalatable foods, toys, excrement, horticulture, furniture, and pets much easier. So what’s the problem?

As regular readers will know, I’m a modest type who doesn’t like to boast about his achievements, but when it comes to dribbling even I have to admit I’m a bit of an expert. By some odd quirk of biology the amount of liquid that comes out of my mouth during a day seems to be around two or three times the amount that goes in. Climate change scientists worried about rivers drying up could learn a lot from me – I’m often to be found sitting in entire puddles of dribble, which is no easy task… just try it yourselves and see how long you can go before being desperate for a drink.

Of course dribble by it’s very nature is a clear liquid, so it can be difficult to monitor the amount produced. The addition of milk chocolate to the mix makes it far easier to track the flow, in fact it’s surprising how even a small amount of chocolate can turn a clear stream into a muddy river in no time at all.

I thought people would be impressed by my achievements but instead they spent a lot of the early days trying to turn back the tide. I couldn’t help feeling they were backing a loser on this one – hadn’t they heard of King Canute?

I once heard Smiley going on about how he’d talked to this ‘expert’ on the subject of dribble (Is this really what people devote their lives to? And why don’t these so-called experts ever talk to me?). Anyway it turns out that if you’ve had the same advantages as me of dribbling beyond the age of babyhood, your facial nerves will have developed differently and the presence of liquid on your face won’t immediately repulse you. Or something… I wasn’t actually listening very closely, got bored halfway through.

But it reminded me that back in the early days Frowny used to have a speech therapist come to the house. This woman reckoned that if she drummed her fingers gently around my mouth she could stimulate the nerve development, I would then become aware of the ‘unpleasant’ wet sensation on my chin and deal with the problem myself…

Yeah right, like I’ve ever done anything I don’t want to.

Frowny managed to keep up the drumming for a couple of weeks but she soon got tired of it. The doctor suggested some kind of sticky patches, but I ate several of these and they didn’t seem to make a difference. Eventually they settled on giving me something called glyco-pyro-something-or-other every day, which didn’t seem to stop the dribble but it satisfied their need to ‘do something’ and soon everyone decided to go with my strategy which is – as with everything –  to ‘go with the flow’.

So, having won that little battle I think it’s important to share my benefits with those less fortunate than myself. I like to spread the dribble, and the best way to do this is to attempt a kiss on the lips. Of course I don’t do this to just anyone – I have to really get to know a person first – but 10 minutes is more than enough time to assess any new relationship.

If I get the timing and the angle right I can often dribble directly into someone else’s mouth. Failing that I can usually hit an eye or an ear, or at the very least deposit a substantial quantity in the hair. I think this must be what’s meant by the term ‘shared bodily fluids’.

The only real downside to dribbling is that it tends to make the front of the shirt a bit on the damp side. I don’t mind this socially but it can get a little chilly in winter. Some of my school friends (or more likely their vain parents) have addressed this in the form of silly little bandanas tied around the neck. This was tried on me very briefly, but really… you’ve got to be kidding! If I wanted to dress up like a cowboy I’d wear a stupid hat and a tin badge… and they think dribbling is social suicide? Anyway I was having none of it and quickly let them know what I thought of their bandana by attempting to eat it.

Speaking of vanity, Smiley’s even been known to re-touch photos of me to remove all traces of a dribbly chin. The camera might never lie but those using it often do – I ought to sue for misrepresentation.

Anyway, the other night I got my own back with a spectacular success; while Smiley had his head slouched back on the sofa I managed to dribble right up his nose.


I’m not sure how far it went in but it must have been quite a way because he was dancing around blowing his nose for ages afterwards.


Pink Ball, RIP

Letter P - flower alphabet isolated on white

I had a pink ball.

It was my favourite thing in the world, and now it’s gone.

Well, not gone exactly but it’s all kind of cracked and broken and has a big hole in it that I can stick my thumb in. It doesn’t bounce down the stairs like it used to, it doesn’t roll properly and when I drop it on the wooden floor it doesn’t make the nice clickety-click noise any more.

I can’t understand it. Pink Ball is nearly as old as I am, which is… ok, I don’t know exactly how old that is but I’ve had it since I was a baby and it’s always been there for me. Well, not always, sometimes it would disappear for months behind a cupboard or under the sofa, but that’s not the point: Pink Ball has always come back.

Of course they’ve tried to fob me off with pale imitations: other TOMY balls that are just the wrong shades of pink, orange or purple. Yes they can do all the things Pink Ball used to do but for some reason they’re just not the same.

I have other toys: crinkly books and musical light-up things and teddies whose fur I like pulling out with my teeth, but they’re just a passing phase. Pink ball was The One. My soul mate.

I still have Pink Ball and I pick it up from time to time in the hope that it’ll be its old, fully rounded self but somehow I don’t think it’s going to happen.


But never say never – if there’s one constant in the universe it’s this:


Pink Ball always comes back.